Published December 22, 2012
Do your smoking in your homeVERNON DEARING
I don’t understand all the brouhaha around the marijuana issue. Decriminalization is not the same as legalization. You can’t grow pot in your front yard, and you can’t haul bales of the stuff around in the trunk of your car. That’s still against the law. However, it doesn’t make any sense to grind someone up in the criminal justice system for possession of a small amount of a relatively benign herb being used for personal consumption; in this instance the “war on drugs” has been a monumental failure. Slap a big sin tax on buyers and sellers so the state makes a pile of money regulating sales and distribution and apply the same laws and penalties to pot use that cover a DUI or public intoxication offense. Growers need to be licensed to protect buyers, and big-time dealers should get thousands of hours of public service. You can’t stand on a street corner selling liquor, you can’t walk down a street drunk waving an open container or drive under the influence. So it only makes sense that you can’t drive stoned, walk down a public street waving a joint or sit on a curb in downtown Olympia smoking a bong. Do your smoking at home – close to the refrigerator and cupboard where the ice cream and cookies are stashed.